Thursday, December 17, 2009

Marty & Becky's Detroit Institue of Art Wedding Photos

I thought you all would enjoy seeing these. I couldn't find any other DIA wedding photography online, and even though I don't think this is something just anybody can do, I thought you'd enjoy seeing some of them. While this would be a great place to go for wedding photos since you can count on it being dry and climate controlled during Michigan's hard winters, Becky was able to secure this spot through her great connections. They are both wonderfully warm people who love life and have surrounded themselves with great, wonderful people. If you'd like to see more photographs from this Detroit Art Institute wedding, please check out my other blog at;

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Julie & Jason's Candlelight Wedding Ceremony

Here are side by side examples of the "lit" ceremony versus available light. No comparison... the available light is much prettier and more like the actual mood of the ceremony. Keep scrolling down to see the limits of this technique though.
You can see from these side by side examples that on the left is available light which, while accurate, would make it impossible to capture any actual great moments that happen during the ceremony.
Dragging the shutter a bit captured movement, but still let me capture crucial moments.

Jason & Julie’s Royal Park Hotel Wedding in Rochester

Okay, so I’m starting to think it really might be me! What is it with beautiful Saturdays in November? We’re talking about the time of year when all couples are pretty much guaranteed crummy, cold, or both. I’ve shot at the Royal Park Hotel before where brides have been getting ready and several times I’ve had couple stop into the hotel’s bar for a drink between their ceremony and the reception, but I’d never done a wedding there. They have several spots where the Royal Park sets up to have weddings. Julie and Jason chose to have theirs in the conservatory. Apparently it had been decorated completely for Christmas, but since this was Thanksgiving weekend and most decidedly NOT a Christmas wedding, they took down all the decorations and had their team of family members de-christmasfy the entire joint. They passed out votive candles to everyone who attended and that’s when it occured to me they were probably planning on this being a candlelight ceremony. These are really tough cookies to light in any room, but when that room is a glass box... it’s just this side of impossible. Thank God for digital! Throughout the ceremony the lights would come up a bit, then go off almost completely, then back up, then down. It was very dramatic and just what they wanted, but a really, really technically difficult shoot! You’ll see available light shots on the blog as well as the ones I added off camera lighting to. You feel about two inches tall when you have no choice but to master blast light into a candlelight service, but what we were seeing was silouettes of a couple who were swaying a bit with nerves and emotion, so long exposures weren’t exactly viable either. I know, I’m getting all technical, but shooting with the absence of light makes photography really difficult, so for all you moonlight and candlelight ceremony lovers out there (and yes, I had a candlelight ceremony too and didn’t give a hoot whether or not we had a single useable image from the actual ceremony... which we didn’t and that’s something that wouldn’t exactly fly with my couples!)... shooting without light is damn near impossible. As fantastic as cameras have gotten in recent years, no camera can touch the color adjustment and the bright versus dark adjustments our eyes make for us. No piece of equipment can touch what our eyes do all the time. With low light photography, you have a choice; grainy photos, blurry photos, master blasted photos or poorly lit photos. None of those are great options, so I try to blend the first three options until I can mimic what I’m seeing in the room as best I can. If you are planning a ceremony or service with really low light, give your photographer a BIG head’s up that this is part of your day so they can do some of the mental gymnastics they’ll need to do in order to pull out some good quality images. Having the wedding ceremony in the dark is one thing, keeping your photographer in the dark is something else altogether! That being said, the entire day was completely fantastic. Both Jason and Julie were a blast and SO much fun to hang out with. I loved both their families. There was very much a “we’re all in this together” feeling coming from both sides. Maybe that’s because Jason’s family who own a greenhouse, The Greenery at Brainers in Wixom, MI, did all the flowers. They completely knocked themselves out with a floral display that would put most Rose Bowl parade floats to shame. They really knocked it out of the ball park. Everybody just really thoroughly enjoyed themselves and to top it all off, we were able to go outside for a good long while to shoot all of Julie and Jason’s photos outside on location, which I never thought we’d be able to do at the end of November! If you’d like to learn about my experience with brides and grooms seeing each other before a wedding, please check out my other blog at

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Dawn and Reza's Dearborn Inn Wedding in Michigan

The Dearborn Inn hosted this wonderful mid November wedding for Reza and Dawn. I knew that even though it turned out to be a beautiful day, we wouldn’t be able to take many photos outside since it gets dark out so early. We did try to get Dawn and the ladies outside before the sun set, but even then, it was pretty dark by the time we got outside for photos. The wedding provided a moment of fun. Turns out the wedding rings got left in the hotel suite. Close by, to be sure, but too far to send someone to find them and return to the ceremony since their absence wasn’t discovered until after the ceremony started. I’m not sure who notice they were missing, but both sides had a case of the giggles and the were whispering quite a bit. I couldn’t figure out what exactly was going on, but eventually the very last groomsman started handing his ring down the line until Reza got it. Dawn’s shoulders were heaving so much, I thought she was crying. Turns out she was laughing so hard, her shoulders were shaking! The reception went off without a hitch and my daughter ran the photo booth complete with hats and frames. It got a lot of use and was a great way to get lots of people covered. I’ve got lots more wedding photos from the Dearborn Inn wedding posted on my other blog at

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Dan & Pam's Grosse Pointe Wedding & Reception

First of all, you’ve got to love how well connected Pam & Dan are... anybody who can deliver the nicest weather we’ve had in three months must have a pretty good in with God! They were married at Grosse Pointe’s Star of the Sea Church. I hadn’t been there in a few years, but their priest (a guest at the church) was very gracious to the wedding couple AND to me. Anytime I’m told to do my very best to light the wedding ceremony at a Catholic church, I’m very thankful. We had lots of time to get outdoor photos done, which was a real treat that none of us had counted on. Only the setting sun did us in, otherwise I think we could have shot all night as an excuse to hang out outside! We shot wedding photos at one of Grosse Pointe's parks as well as all over the grounds at the Grosse Pointe War Memorial (which I keep typing in Goose Pointe!). The reception, of course, was at the War Memorial in Grosse Pointe, Michigan and we were in the large ballroom. This is a bit of a tough place to shoot since 180 degrees are windows and very reflective AND you’re shooting into the windows the entire time. So trying to keep not only myself and the videographer out of the frame, but also my lights, was an interesting technical feat! I always love working with Sara Gharacheh from Platinum Mix ( and this was the first time I’ve worked with Kate McClellan from Purple Clover ( I heard through the grapevine that I missed some pretty major drama later that night. Everybody was fine thankfully, but you never like it when emergency vehicles are called to your wedding. So glad both Dan and Pam really seemed to be enjoying their party, their guests and their wonderful, warm day. If you’d like to see more images from this wedding, please check out my other blog at

Friday, October 30, 2009

Dave & Sam's Adrian College Wedding

I can’t remember the last time I was at Adrian College, but it sure is cute! They got married in the school’s chapel which is about 10 times bigger that MSUs! The nasty weather held off, everybody had a blast and we got to watch two EMS ers tie the knot. They ended the evening with a sparkler send off into the night. If you'd like to see more wedding photos from Dave and Sam's Adrian College Chapel wedding, please check out my other blog at

Jeff & Sarah!

Okay, so for those who have been reading the blog for a while... remember the really, really cool save the date card I posted a few months back? That was for Jeff and Sarah’s wedding. He’s an artist and handmade each of those pop-up cards. So I’ve been looking forward to this wedding for a long time. Both of them are super enthusiastic about life, about photography and about having me as their photographer. They got ready at a dinky little church in Ferndale which also happened to be a super cute dinky little church. Really nice priest (and a woman at that!), Claire and I loved the ambiance the church provided. Everything went off without a hitch and we were able to get a couple of very Fall photos in at a park just down the street. I love Jeff’s friend’s van that was vinyled all over one side with the American Flag (that Jeff created, of course!). He (along with just about half the guests) is a fellow photographer. It was interesting to see how all these different professional photographers from lots of genres handled shooting the wedding along side of me. “Only” two others actually shoot weddings. I call them free back up! The reception was in Warren at St. Josaphat (used to be Saint Joseph fat until phat became hip), and the bride and groom provided lots of good food and entertainment with a very cool break dance floor show. Not only did the groom and some of his buddies take to the floor, so did one of the three year olds who showed a lot of promise! Jeff made wooden squirrels as their cake topper. I just loved all their personalizations and as a couple, they’re the sort of people who you feel like you’re one of their closest friends within about two minutes of meeting them! If you'd like to see more photos from their wedding, please check out my other blog at